The North Orissa University was established in the year 1998 vide Government of Orissa Notification No. I-HE/U-21/98. 32930/HE dated the 13th July 1998. The University is recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under Sections 2(f) and 12(B) of UGC Act, 1956 with effect from 15.02.2000 and 21.06.2006, respectively. It is also recognized by the Bar Council of India and Open & Distance Learning (ODL) programme of UGC. North Orissa University is included in the list of Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi and Association of Commonwealth Universities, London. The University is accredited by National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore with B+ grade with effect from 9th June, 2017. The territorial jurisdiction of the University covers Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts of the northern part of Odisha. These two districts are dominated by tribal population averaging 63% of inhabitants. As many as 93 colleges (General / Professional) are affiliated to this University. Since its inception, North Orissa University has been making relentless efforts to groom the underprivileged youth of this region thereby enabling them to make their presence felt in the national mainstream of art, culture, science and technology.
The Honorable Governor of Orissa is the Chancellor of the University . Prof.Pradeep Kumar Chand as the Vice Chancellor heads the University presently and the Syndicate acts as the highest executive body.